The police handled the case very efficiently, and Xu Zhou followed closely throughout the process, so Qi Han was acquitted that night.
When he came out, it was drizzling, and Fu Ge stood in front of the door holding a black umbrella. The two looked at each other from far away through the curtain of rain.
The little Beta blinked his wet eyes and squeezed out an embarrassed smile, “Ah Han, don’t be angry with me…”
The Alpha walked up to him blankly, with countless emotions surging in his crimson eyes, but in the end he just glanced at the untimely pants Fu Ge was wearing: “On such a cold day, you come out in a pair of cropped pants.”
Fu Ge was startled for a moment, “I was in too much of a hurry to come out, I just grabbed a pair…”
Qi Han raised his eyes, and his resolute face was full of distress and frustration, “You didn’t come out in a hurry, you simply didn’t care. When I saw you in the morning, you were wearing these pants.”
On a rainy day in early spring, the temperature was almost below zero, and everyone in the street was dressed warmly. Only his little Beta, with a thin sweater on his upper body and cropped trousers on his lower body, stood alone in the rain, with his ankles frozen red. Was he really not cold?…
Qi Han didn’t ask. He took off his coat and wrapped it around Fu Ge’s waist to keep him warm, then turned around and walked towards the car without looking back.
The little Beta stared blankly at his departure; his bitten lips trembled at a loss, and the rain trickled into his eyes, turning into salty, wet tears.
He thought: we haven’t seen each other for four days…
The reporters who heard the news had long been waiting at the door with their cameras. Because of Qi Han’s intimidating power they didn’t dare to move forward, but were just in time to catch the lone Fu Ge.
“Mr. Fu, what is your opinion on your husband’s involvement in the gland trade case?”
“Will you still make up for the wedding?”
“Your father is the murderer of Mr. Qi Ji, right? So in what mood are you when you are with President Qi?”
The reporters swarmed around him. Fu Ge was unprepared, his umbrella was knocked off, and the microphone of the reporter in the front row slammed into his face.
The little Beta dodged awkwardly, but at the same time a hand came up from behind his head and clutched the microphone firmly.
Qi Han surrounded Fu Ge with his arms and said, “Step back one metre away.”
His voice was very low, and his long, narrow eyes swept lightly across everyone present. Enigma’s coercion was like a net pressing down forcefully. The reporters’ hair stood on end in an instant, and they subconsciously retreated.
The encirclement was broken in half a minute. Qi Han took Fu Ge’s hand and said, “It’s not easy for everyone to stay out on such a rainy day. I asked my assistants to prepare umbrellas and hot drinks for you.”
Two assistants and three bodyguards immediately came forward with drinks, using the action of handing out hot drinks to surround the reporters.
“Xiao Liu, help Wang Ji with his camera.”
Wang Ji was the reporter who almost hit Fu Ge in the face with his microphone. When the bodyguard heard the words, he immediately bent over and “helped” with the camera, handing it over to Qi Han. Qi Han didn’t even look at it, directly pulled out the film and threw it to the bodyguard.
“Hey! President Qi—” The young reporter’s pain was almost physical but he didn’t dare speak out in anger.
Fu Ge turned his head to look at Qi Han who was close to him, and heard him say softly: “I don’t want anyone to follow the car, let alone any photos or information about my lover to appear in the newspapers. Thank you for your cooperation. The interview is over.”
Pulling Fu Ge into the car, Qi Han ordered the driver: “Go.”
He didn’t leave Fu Ge alone again, turned up the air conditioning, covered him with a blanket and then grabbed his hands and tucked them into his clothes to keep warm.
Even though he was angry, he didn’t want the little Beta to feel even a little cold.
The driver didn’t dare to disturb the boss and waited for a while before asking in a low voice, “Where are we going, sir?”
“Drive to a place where there is no one.”
The tips of Fu Ge’s ears turned red in embarrassment.
The driver took countless turns until he stopped the car at a vacant lot, then got out of the car sensibly and went far away, as if to leave them space to do something.
Fu Ge lowered his head and looked like a little dumb goose, but when Qi Han put his hand into his collar and touched his collarbone, the little Beta shivered suddenly. There was a fresh cigarette burn there!
“Ah Han! Wait! Don’t… not here, let’s wait to go back…”
He didn’t know if Qi Han wanted to do something or not, but he could only hold his collar in a panic to hide the burn. However, the Alpha’s movements were strong and domineering. He grabbed Fu Ge’s hand and held it above his head, then pulled up the hem of his sweater.
The fig leaf was ripped off, and the little Beta went completely quiet.
Qi Han looked at his chest and began to tremble uncontrollably.
There were at least three cigarette burns on the pale, thin body covered in old wounds.
Under his collarbone, on his left arm, on the right side of the crotch bone… all were fresh, left very recently, two blood-red and one burned to purple and black.
Qi Han just looked at these three circles, and the blood vessels in his eyes were about to burst.
His shoulders shook with anger, and his gasps became heavier and heavier. His chest cavity seemed to be filled with a raging volcano, and the magma from the eruption flowed out of his eyes and dripped on Fu Ge’s body, wet and hot.
This was the person he was protecting with his life…
Qi Han felt that this pain was driving him mad. He’d rather mutilate himself when he was out of control than let Fu Ge suffer any grievance. He would feel distressed for a long time over a small cut on Fu Ge’s hand or a small blister on his foot and would only dare to pierce it carefully while Fu Ge was asleep at night. Even when he was shot in the chest and was dying, he still didn’t hesitate to protect Fu Ge in his arms when the baton fell.
He told everyone not to touch his love; he would fight anyone who hurt Fu Ge. Overwhelmed with remorse, he wanted to stab himself to death. But the little Beta told him with his actions: everything he did was useless.
Because the person who hurt Fu Ge the most now was Fu Ge himself.
Angry but powerless, heartbroken but helpless.
Qi Han’s head was about to explode, and his heart was numb with pain. He took several deep breaths to suppress his impulses. He reached his hand to take off Fu Ge’s pants, but the little Beta immediately clasped his hand, “Don’t look… please…”
“There are on the legs too… right?”
Qi Han let out a bitter chuckle and slumped against the back of the seat bonelessly. The wound on his chest hurt, but his heart hurt a million times worse than the wound.
“I’ve only been away for four days. You pressed more than three cigarettes to your body. Those artificial glands have long been inflamed. You let them fester in your neck for more than two months… Gege, what the hell are you doing…”
He raised his eyes, dark and heavy like a river that would never flow again, “You want me to die, don’t you?… Why don’t you just kill me with a knife…”
“No, no, Ah Han, I didn’t self-harm…” Fu Ge got up from the seat and explained, choking: “I needed to save you, I had to stay awake…”
“What about the glands? What about your clothes?”
Qi Han grabbed his wrist and squeezed his neck, slowly applying force, but Fu Ge didn’t struggle, didn’t react at all.
Qi Han let go of him in dismay, and smiled suddenly two seconds later, “Why don’t you struggle, don’t even blink…”
“I, I trust you, I know you won’t hurt me.”
Qi Han laughed, “It’s not that you trust me, it’s that you don’t care at all. Fear is a subconscious reaction of people, but you don’t even have a subconscious reaction…”
“It hurts when it hurts, it’s cold when it’s cold, it’s sick when it’s sick, it’s dead when it’s dead… That’s what you think now, right?”
Fu Ge wanted to deny it, shaking his head in tears, but Qi Han had already concluded: “You are very disgusted with yourself…”
“Are you disgusted with this body, or are you disgusted with yourself as a person?”
“I love you so, so much, how can you dislike yourself so much… ah?”
Fu Ge had no way to argue, he could only grab Qi Han’s hand with all his strength. His self-destructive tendencies had always been so severe that it was only a matter of time before they were discovered.
The Alpha was in so much pain that he could hardly breathe; each gasp seemed like lava burning through his throat. He stared blankly at the person in front of him for a long time before suddenly saying, “Don’t love me anymore.”
Fu Ge froze, dumbfounded.
“What did you say…”
Qi Han got up and took him in his arms, repeating: “Gege, don’t love me anymore, keep all your love for yourself, okay?”
Only then could the little Beta breathe again, his wet eyes full of grievances, “What about you?”
“My love is also given to you, all of it is given to you. Ah Jue and I will love you very much and will always love you, so you can cherish yourself too, okay?”
Fu Ge moved his lips stiffly: “But I can’t find anything worthy of love in myself. I… I live such a bad, rotten life, like a puddle of mud…”
When they returned that night, Qi Han immediately arranged an operation for Fu Ge under general anaesthesia to remove the artificial glands in the back of his neck.
The operation took an hour and a half, and the anaesthesia had not worn off when it ended, so Fu Ge was still unconscious.
Qi Han carefully put him on the bed, turned up the air conditioning, turned on the little heater, and then padded the back of Fu Ge’s head to prevent the wound on the back of his neck from touching the pillow.
After all this, he undressed Fu Ge and took care of his cigarette burns.
The little Beta never asked a doctor for help and always applied medicine haphazardly by himself because he thought those scars were ugly, and he was even more unsightly with them and didn’t want people to see them.
There were a total of four new cigarette burns, three on the upper body and one on the thigh. Qi Han kept blowing on them while applying medicine. Tears slid down drop by drop, and he wiped them off indiscriminately.
After applying medicine to all the wounds, Qi Han kissed Fu Ge’s thigh, lay down next to him and released some soothing pheromones, the steady stream of bellflower scent creating a soft, cosy nest for the little Beta.
Fu Ge moved comfortably twice, woke up in a daze, opened his eyes to see that it was Qi Han, and his eyes instantly flushed.
“I thought I wouldn’t see you again…”
“How could that be?” Qi Han leaned over to rub against the tip of his nose; his voice was also choked, “Where else can I go if I don’t guard gege…”
“But you left,” Fu Ge said, “I made you angry. For the first time in so long, you were really angry with me. You weren’t angry with me when I was at my worst with you, but you left without even looking at me at the police station this morning…”
The more he said, the smaller his voice became. Tears filled his eyes, blurring his vision and sliding down his temples on both sides. In the end, he sobbed softly like a young bird hiding countless grievances.
“We haven’t seen each other for so long and I was worried about you, so I asked the doctor to cut faster so that I could see you, but you turned your head and left.”
Fu Ge closed his eyes in fear, and said with difficulty: “Just like… five years ago, leaving me on the ground without looking back.”
“Gege! No, it’s not like that!” Qi Han’s face turned pale in an instant. He was most afraid that Fu Ge would think of the past, “Baby, listen to me, I beg you not to think about those things, okay, I didn’t mean to leave you, I just, just—”
Before he finished speaking, he raised his hand and slapped his own face hard.
“What are you doing!” Fu Ge was taken aback and quickly grabbed his hand.
Qi Han shook his head in remorse, “I didn’t mean to leave you, I was an asshole, I was an animal, I was mad at the time, I couldn’t breathe, I looked at your injuries and wanted to stab myself to death, I was afraid that if I didn’t leave, I would really do something…”
The little Beta sniffled, lowered his head and was silent for a long time before he said “oh” in a low voice. “Then pick me up, you haven’t hugged me properly for so long after we got back…”
Qi Han’s tears turned into a smile, “Are you not angry anymore?”
He lifted the quilt and wrapped Fu Ge in his arms, patting him on the back as if coaxing a child to sleep, rubbing the little Beta’s forehead with his palm from time to time, until Fu Ge almost fell asleep.
“So comfortable…” The little Beta rubbed against his lover’s neck like a small animal, sucking in the familiar smell, so warm that his eyes squinted.
Qi Han’s heart softened beyond words, “Why is it so easy to coax you…”
Fu Ge murmured, kissing his neck, “Because you are right, I really… hate myself, but I don’t know how to change it…”
“Can I help you?” Qi Han kissed his lips, “Trust me?”
“Then get out of bed first.”
Fu Ge nodded, but as soon as he got up, he shrank back abruptly, wrapped himself in a quilt and curled into a ball, “Clothes, where are my clothes?”
Qi Han laughed naughtily, “Gone.”
“Don’t be afraid, I have closed the door and curtains, only I can see you.”
It’s not good to be naked…
Fu Ge glanced down in embarrassment, “Give me a pair of pants, hey.”
Qi Han grabbed him like a bandit and carried him to the mirror. The young Beta was so ashamed that he tried to escape after only one glance, but Qi Han caught his chin and forced him to look at himself.
“Baby, don’t you really know how beautiful you are?”
The body in the mirror was fair and tall, soft and powerful, the creamy skin smooth like porcelain, so tender that a little touch could leave a mark.
Not only the scars, deep or shallow, were not ugly in the slightest, but like plum blossoms falling in the snow, they were seductive and glamorous; not to mention Fu Ge’s siren-like face that filled anyone who looked at it with desire at a glance.
Qi Han embraced him from behind and kissed his shoulder, his voice dark and enchanting: “My dear, have I never told you how much you have always fascinated me?”
“I’m not a lustful person, I have never been interested in that kind of thing. But everything changed when I met you.”
Fu Ge shrank uncomfortably, his ears hot: “Changed to what…”
“I’m just like a fucking pervert, an erotomaniac, I want to mess with you all the time.”
“You…” The vulgar expression made Fu Ge tremble shyly, and his creamy skin turned pink. Qi Han wrapped his arms around him, his kisses pouring like a stream from the mountain.
“I have seen all kinds of people, and none of them can compare with you in the slightest.”
“Every day the nurses in the hospital discuss how beautiful you are. The new bodyguard can fill in the wrong name when he looks at your face. I am about to explode from suppressing the urge to have you. But beauty is only the most superficial side of you.”
Qi Han walked around him, and a hot kiss landed on Fu Ge’s lips. He lowered his head under the stare of Fu Ge’s misty eyes and kissed every scar the little Beta thought was ugly.
“You are tough, tenacious, gentle and kind. You hibernated for five years without giving up. You saved the Omega in the bar and helped him find a job. At the same time, you are also very cute, talented, smart and generous, loving and hating purely, you like to eat French fries and secretly like to be coquettish…”
Fu Ge was amused by him, “What, is it a virtue to eat French fries?”
“Of course, in my opinion, everything about you is a virtue, the light shining in your every move.”
“How can you not find anything about you that deserves to be loved? You have so much goodness about you. You are the most worthy person in the world to be loved.”
Loving kisses reached Fu Ge’s crotch bone as Qi Han dropped on one knee and kissed the last of the cigarette burns tenderly. Then he took Fu Ge’s hand and looked up at him, his obsidian eyes full of love and obsession.
“Xiao Ge, the adjectives ‘bad’ and ‘rotten’ will never be applied to you. ‘Beautiful’ and ‘tenacious’ are the only things that go with you.”
“You are my light, my moon, all the desires of my barren life, and the only king of my decadent world.”
“I will chase you forever, adore you, bow down to you and remain faithful until death.”
At the age of seventeen, love at first sight was as violent as a wildfire in the mountains, and Fu Ge was his dream that even the wildfire couldn’t burn.
—My love, you don’t need to spend your heart to love me, you have to love yourself with all your might.